27 handlers and their dogs have graduated from a two-week intensive training at the Canine Brigade headquarters in Masoro, Gasabo District, in a ceremony presided over by Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K Gasana.
The training was conducted by the Police Dog Center Holland that also supplied the highly skilled K-9s.
K-9 (canine) refers to dogs specifically trained to assist police and other law enforcement personnel in, for example, searching for drugs and explosives, locating missing people, finding crime scene evidence, and protecting their handlers.
The certification ceremony also included a demonstration of the dogs’ skills in the search for narcotics and explosives.
Gasana said that the newly trained officers and their dogs will contribute to maintaining safety for all people living in Rwanda.
“The vision of the leadership is about the intertwined aspects of development and security. There is always need for advanced skills and resources to protect what has been achieved and even achieve more. This is why our canine brigade, which contributes reasonably to security, keeps expanding,” he said.
The skills and resources gained by the K-9 brigade, according to the IGP, are a scientific proof of these dogs’ ability in prevention of emerging crimes like terrorism. Yet he emphasized the need for more skills.
“We have to always evolve with the trends, especially through acquiring specialized skills. This is why we want to expand our canine brigade and eventually breed our own dogs,” Gasana remarked.
The IGP also hinted on future plans of having a dog unit at all entry points and securing all public events.
Besides the sniffer dogs, RNP also intend to have guard and attack dogs that are used to subdue suspects or enemies, and provide security for sensitive or controlled areas.
The newly acquired dogs are from different breeds including Belgian Malinois, Dutch Shepherds, German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers.
“These dogs come from the best of the best breeds, and it's a good choice,” remarked Ramon Guerain, one of the instructors from Police Dog Center Holland.